Saturday, July 23, 2016
MONDO CANE (1962)
Historically important because this is the one that kicked off the whole "mondo" genre of shocking documentary-style films. This of course eventually led to stuff like the FACES OF DEATH series and VHS comps like DEATH SCENES and that type of snuff-esque material. While these latter efforts focused entirely on death and gore for the sake of shock alone this one is a way more artistic piece of work that at it's core is about the differences between so-called civilized society of the modern-day(modern-day 1962 anyway) and the primitive world of more native peoples(mostly in New Guinea). It transitions between these two places and leaves it up to the viewer to decide who the real "savages" are.
I was grateful to get a chance to view an actual film print of this last night on the big screen and after viewing it many times on old crappy VHS or cheap-o DVD versions this is really an amazing upgrade that gave me a new appreciation of the power of this film in all it's bug-eating, pig-bashing glory.
There are 3 directors credited on this. Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi being the two that everyone remembers and Paolo Cavara being the third fellow who after this came out with information that many of the sequences here were not as authentic as they are presented. He even made a satirical condemnation of the whole mondo genre with THE WILD EYE in 1967 which I really need to check out soon.